By Chris Chaney
A stellar regular season around Clermont County gave way to a disappointing postseason performance for the first nine teams taking part in the Southwest Ohio sectional tournament.
All nine local schools were one-and-done in their postseason appearances with Felicity-Franklin the lone surviving team at the time of this writing.
Felicity, by virtue of their draw in the Division III sectional, was slated to play Clark Montessori on Wednesday, Feb. 26. The final score of that contest was not available before this edition of The Clermont Sun went to press.
For the other nine teams who took their shot at a postseason run, the regular-season success enjoyed by area schools throughout November, December, January and early February did not translate to wins once the tournament began.
Players, coaches and fans alike have a rotten taste in their mouth that won’t be replaced for another nine months when the next jump ball will be tipped off.
In Division I, the Southern Buckeye Conference American co-champion Amelia Barons drew a familiar opponent in the first round of their sectional tournament, Turpin, a team that Amelia played earlier this season.
The Barons held down the Spartans in their first meeting, hanging on for a six-point win. In the sectional tournament, however, Amelia was unable to duplicate the early lead they formed during the regular season. A strong third quarter did put the Barons up three heading into the final quarter, but a late push from Turpin proved to be too much.
The Barons ended the season 19-4.
Elsewhere, in the Hamilton Division I sectional, Glen Este and Milford saw their seasons wrap up on the same court in back-to-back games.
The Trojans, seeded No. 23, fell to Mount Healthy 75-62, ending a rollercoaster 2013-14 season that saw Glen Este play in spurts, winning or losing no more than four games in a row at any point.
Their Eastern Cincinnati Conference counterparts, Milford, didn’t fare much better against Oak Hills, dropping a heartbreaker 40-37. The Eagles had two opportunities to tie the game in last four seconds, but couldn’t get a shot to drop.
Milford ended their season with a 12-11 record.
In Division II, the New Richmond Lions shared a regular-season championship with Amelia in the SBC, but found themselves in the same position following an opening-round loss to Wyoming in the Mason sectional.
A return to prominence for New Richmond saw the Lions accomplish a lot in regular season terms, but the type of postseason success the regular season promised eluded the red and black.
Playing out of the same DII bracket, the Lions’ had the possibility of playing SBC foes Batavia and Goshen in the second and third rounds, respectively, if each team got the right bounces. Alas, Batavia dropped their first-round game to No. 2 seed McNicholas 62-35 and Goshen was routed by No. 5-seeded Woodward 73-25.
The Bulldogs finished the year with a 12-9 record while the Warriors posted a 10-13 mark.
In Division III, Clermont Northeastern suffered a similar fate as No. 3 seed Clark Montessori bounced the Rockets on Feb. 22, 60-19. The Cougars moved on to play Felicity-Franklin on Feb. 26.
Bethel-Tate was similarly knocked out by a strong opponent, losing to No. 1 seed Roger Bacon 100-25. The Tigers finished their 2013-14 campaign 1-22.
Finally, the last first-round game of local schools was another rematch of regular-season opponents and like Amelia’s fate with Turpin, Williamsburg was unable to make it a season sweep over St. Bernard.
The Wildcats, who finished the year 12-10, beat the Titans 55-40 13 days ago, but fell to St. Bernard 49-39 in the one-and-done format.
The good news for Clermont County hoops fans is that hope springs eternal once again only a few months from now.
For complete brackets, future game times and sites, log on to the Southwest District Athletic Board website at swdab.org.